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Thread: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    18

    Default 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Hi All,

    I had posted fews days ago about my pain in my nipples. The story so far is:
    1.I contacted the LC at my hospital and she prescribed me all purpose nipple cream which had anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial medicines.
    2. I used this, (am still using it) and this helped me to some extend, in reducing the burning sensation that I had.
    3. But the pain is still there. Specially after the feeding, i feel sharp pain (pins and needles) in my nipples.
    4. I then got an appointment with another LC, who came to my house to see how I am feeding and all.. she said that the reason for my pain is the frequency of feeding. my baby cluster feeds during morning and evening times.
    5. She also said that the blood vessels in my breast, near the nipple area are getting compressed and that is the reason of my pain.

    Anyone here had this kind of issue? if yes what is the solution. seriously desperate here!

    LC suggested that i use hot pads after every feed and see if the pain goes away. i have been trying this for past week still no luck.

    I am really in pain, and feel very low. I am planning to start formula (once a day atleast) I will check with my Pediatrician before i do this though.

    But if someone has faced this issue and if there is anything that can help me continue EBF... please please let me know.
    Thanks!
    New Mom to a cute lil baby girl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Hang in there, mama! I think that the 2nd LC gave you some incorrect information - it's totally normal for babies to cluster feed, and if everything is going well, it shouldn't hurt no matter how long your baby nurses!

    What you're describing sounds like it could be thrush. Did you have any antibiotics during/after your labour? That would put you at increased risk for thrush. This link covers a lot of info about thrush and it's treatment http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-CP . There are a few things you can try yourself as outlined in the link. I found the grapefruit seed extract to be helpful, as well as taking a probiotic. It sounds like you've already got the all-purpose nipple ointment that Dr. Newman suggests in the article.

    Have you noticed your nipples changing colour at all, turning white or blue or purple? This might be what the LC was referring to - sometimes if baby's latch isn't deep enough and you're compressing the nipple, you can end up with painful vasospasms. Usually applying heat does help with that pain though.

    Did either of the LCs help you with getting a good latch? Have you tried the 'sandwich' technique, where you sort of flatten as much of your breast as you can to get as much of the areola into baby's mouth? Even if you do have thrush, getting a better latch can still make things feel better.

    Try to hold off on the formula for a little longer if you can, mama. It's a slippery slope! I know it's hard (I went a long time with painful nursing too), but it'll be so worth it when you figure this out and nursing is pain-free!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,913

    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    with the PP. I especially want to reiterate that when a baby is latched on properly, it shouldn't matter how frequently she feeds. With a good latch, a baby could feed literally non-stop and still not hurt her mom. With a poor latch, it's always going to hurt.

    I'm also thinking thrush or vasospasms could provide explanations for the pain. But could you answer a few more questions, in addition to the excellent ones above, to rule out latch problems? They are:
    1. When do you experience pain- at the beginning of the feeding, when baby first latches on, sometime in the middle or towards the end of the feeding (perhaps you feel like the baby "slips up" on the nipple or "clamps down" on the nipple?), or after the feeding is over?
    2. How would you describe the pain- pinching, stabbing, burning, itching?
    3. When the baby comes off the breast, what do you see- is the nipple symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or assymetrical/wedged/creased/ridged/ shaped like a new lipstick?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    18

    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Thanks for the information.
    @mommal to answer your questions:
    1. I feel pain all the time, even when i am not feeding. I feel a sharp stabbing pain when baby latches on, and then the pain reduces till she is feeding. The LC checked the position and latch and she said that, the latch was okay. One more thing i observed was that when i went out the other day to take my baby to ped, it was very cold and the pain in my nipples just shot. I was literally in tears.
    The pain continues after the feeding as well. I am not able to sleep at night, as the nipples brushes against the nursing pads / bra..
    2. I would says its throbbing / stabbing pain. I also had burning sensations, but that has reduced with the nipple cream (i think!)
    3. when baby comes out nipple is bit asymmetrical (specially on my left breast) on the right one its looks okay, sometimes it looks wedged.

    Some update:
    I have started pumping (just about 10 mins) one time a day during night. so that i can top up my baby after feeding during mornings.
    I have started taking Vitamin B6 and Fenugreek pills.
    I have also started using hot pads on breast after feeding. (for some minutes i do get relief but then its back to pain)

    I have a few more questions:
    1. how can i know if my flow in less? and thats why my baby feeds for like 20-25 mins on each side?
    2. if that is the case, suppose my flow is less, what can i do ? ( i am taking fenugreek pills).

    when you say that breast feeding should be pain-less... you mean like 100% painless, and even when baby is not feeding I shouldnt feel pain right?
    i dont remember when i was last time pain-free...
    New Mom to a cute lil baby girl

  5. #5

    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    What do you think guys? This really sounds to me like a combination of thrush and Vasospasm.
    I encourage you to read the link above from Jack Newman about his suggested thrush protocol. I believe he also has a good write up on vasospasm. These are two different things but often happen together. They can cause really bad pain even when latch is good and of course if latches slightly off it will be even worse. I hope by reading over those materials you can form an opinion on if this might be happening in your case.
    Your breasts simply should not hurt when breast-feeding neither when baby is nursing or at other times. Of course breast-feeding does come with its own set of sensations from the tugging of a nursing baby to the sensation of letdown which is something some mothers feel. These things can feel uncomfortable sometimes but not truly painful and certainly not continuously painful. Pain when nursing is like pain when anything else is happening -it is your body telling you something is not right.
    I am so sorry you're doing so much for your baby and having to go through all this The good news is thrush is treatable and once the T rush is cleared up that should help I hope that you can get proper treatment for thrush and maybe even look into medication for vasospasm(it is appropriate in some cases) also you can consider taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever to help in the meantime.
    A word of caution about bottles and pumping. When mom and baby have thrush, everything that comes into contact with your breasts or babies mouth will have to be washed very carefully to avoid reinfection. So if pumping and bottles are not needed it might be best to avoid them as much as possible until the thrush is completely cleared up. Same with pacifiers.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 26th, 2014 at 11:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    I think you're right, meg...it sounds like both. The extreme painful reaction to the cold sounds like classic Reynaud's, but I think until the thrush is treated you won't know if it's vasospasms secondary to thrush or actually Reynaud's. At this point, it might be worth seeing your doc to get his opinion, and maybe a script for some diflucan to see if that helps things. Make sure that you bring along Dr. Newman's recommendation for diflucan though - unlike a vaginal yeast infection, a one to three day course if NOT enough to treat a breast yeast infection. When I took it, it took a good 5 days for things to really start feeling better, and I needed a full 2 week course of it to get rid of the thrush completely.

    Meg is also right about the pump parts and bottles - I had to use the microwave steam bags because putting them in the dishwasher just wasn't enough, and I reinfected myself. Thrush is a real pain in the ***, but it is so worth it once you get rid of it and you can enjoy breastfeeding

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Agree. Thrush or bacterial infection plus vasospasm sounds very likely to me.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    18

    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Hi Ladies....
    Thanks for the reply..

    I had an appointment today with my OB-GYN, and got it confirmed its not thrush and there is no infection.
    Also when i went out today (temp was -10 degrees celsius) and the stabbing pain in my nipples shot up!!!!

    So i think it is vasospasm.

    guys any immediate relief from this condition? (praying that weather gods have some mercy and the cold wave passes soon!)

    other than that any medication that i can take?
    New Mom to a cute lil baby girl

  9. #9
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    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    Just curious, what 'confirmation' did your OB give that it wasn't thrush? I only ask because my OB and my family doctor both initially dismissed the possibility of thrush, and thus I went on to have pain unnecessarily for a long time. Just because your baby doesn't show symptoms (ie the classic white tongue/cheeks) does NOT mean that thrush is not present! Also, baby should be treated at the same time (I used diluted grapefruit seed extract swabbed in baby's mouth).

    As for the vasospasms, I think you already said you're taking a B6 supplement, which Dr. Newman suggests. He also suggests a Calcium/Magnesium one too. Also avoiding alcohol and coffee (I know, yikes on that one!). Heat application too (a sock filled with rice and nuked for a few minutes is good), as well as covering your nipple as soon as it's out of baby's mouth. I believe Dr. Newman also suggests a bit of olive oil rubbed into the nipple can be helpful. If none of these things help, there is a medication called Nifedipine that you'd need a script for.
    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...ename=doc-V-RP One other thing that I personally found helpful was to get some cardio in - hard with a new baby, I know...but anything to get your heart rate up and get the blood flowing helps!

    Good luck mama, and please let us know how things work out for you

  10. #10
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 6 weeks of EBF and still in pain...

    A lot of doctors don't realize that thrush can present without the classic symptoms, i.e. the white, pearly patches in the baby's mouth.

    Good suggestions from Carm3 on dealing with vasospasms. I would only add warm sweaters, down-filled jackets and vests, socks, and really good boots as part of your layering strategy. Staying warm and preventing a vasospasm before it happens is, in my experience, better than letting yourself get cold and then trying to cope with a vasospasm in progress.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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